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"How a biotech company almost killed the world."

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  • "How a biotech company almost killed the world."

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18503...ith-booze.html

    Interesting read. As an aside towards the recent "Climategate" scandal (in which - among other things - CRU attempted to block dissenting reviews of its data), it illustrates how important peer review can be to the scientific community.

  • #2
    Re: "How a biotech company almost killed the world."

    The title seems to be sensationalist and misleading. Here is the only research paper by the authors of the experiment I could find (published in the Applied Soil Ecology journal in 1999) that applied to K. Holmes. Ingram later submitted this statement to the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification Executive Summary in 2001 on which the article seems to be based on.

    IMO this article is an excerpt out of a book for entertainment, not for science. Those who want to really understand the experiment need to actually read the paper; also that Ingram did not document her findings that led to her 2001 statement in them in either this paper or a later one raises a few red flags.

    My 2 cents:
    1. Any host that kills its prey too quickly will evolve to become less less damaging. Those that kill their host too quickly may have a lesser chance of finding another host. See 'optimal virulence' concept.
    2. The author of this article studies the effects of bacterial competition in a limited context. There a millions of existing bacteria living in the soil and on plants; given the sheer diversity of plants there should be a comparable degree of microbial diversity associated with them. Further studies need to be done to show what that they are capable of spreading uncontrollably.
    3. Maybe some anti-GM propaganda? IIRC most of Europe and Oceania bans growing commercial GM crops. FWIW, I'm fairly neutral on this issue as it depends on what exactly was modified and how. It's much, much more complicated than how the public views it or how the media reports it.



    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

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    • #3
      Re: "How a biotech company almost killed the world."

      From the comments below the article:

      I feel odd saying this, but I normally expect much better research from cracked articles. The information you give seems to all be based on Ingham's testimony in front of the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering. Testimony which a month later, after having been rebutted, she had to formally apologized was incorrect and overreaching.
      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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      • #4
        Re: "How a biotech company almost killed the world."

        Interesting, thanks. :)

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